Sono.La.Musica (I Am the Music)

variations on a theme by the Plaintext Players
in which Orpheus, an uninspiring musician, is pursued by Zeus, CEO of MountOlympus Records. In a tragic accident, Orpheus' wife, Eurydice, is electrocuted by a rogue mike and Orpheus must bargain with Hades, the old lord of the DownUnderWorld, in order to get her back. On their way out of hell, however, disaster strikes, closely followed by the Maenads...

[Prologue][Scene 1][Scene 2][Scene 3]
Orpheus: Sono.La. Musica (I Am the Music), copyright Antoinette LaFarge and the Plaintext Players, 1997


the Athens of the North, under whose stone bridges flow Lethe, the Styx, and the other rivers of the Underworld. If you cross the wrong bridge, you will find yourself among the dead, the near-dead, and the not-living.

a small snake scurries across the floor.

Digital.Director turns to the audience and bows.

Orpheus tunes up.

Digital.Director says, "Welcome One and All and the rest of you too... To today's performance by the Plaintext Players... Performing their original version of the Orpheus myth."

Orpheus says, "This lyre only has four strings."

Digital.Director says, "Today's cast includes the following performers:"
"As Orpheus... Marlena Corcoran."
"As Eurydike and Maenad#3... Cathy Caplan."
"As Hades... Lise Patt."
"As Zeus and maryMaenad... Joe Ferrari."
"As Digital.Director... Antoinette LaFarge."

Hades dies.

Digital.Director says, "And now, without further or future ado: Today we are telling the story of Orpheus, the musician who went to hell to get his wife back after she was bitten by a snake."

Zeus drinks another cup of coffee.

Digital.Director says, ""Only the details are being changed to protect the innocent. There will be no snake today. In place of the snake..."

Orpheus says, "No snake? What do you mean, no snake?"

Digital.Director says, "What I said, no snake."

Orpheus exclaims, "Come on-- I wanted to play the snake! Why do I always have to play the dork? The complete idiot? The sucker?"

Some people have such an overwhelming, irrational fear of snakes that the phobia may restrict their lifestyles.

Digital.Director says, "Only a complete idiot would ask to play a snake."

This fear -

Orpheus breaks down: "I must be the only kid on the planet who never wanted to be a rock star. I just--tuned up my lyre--and they came. I mean, I was just plagued by rocks! Animals! Wild women!"

This fear -

Hades polishes his black marble throne.

Hades says, "I hate this shit... why do I always have to be the bad guy? God... I need a wife."

Orpheus says, "I was once the happiest of men."

Hades asks, "Do you want to be a rock star, or do you want to make a bargain for your dead wife?"

Orpheus casts a glance at Eurydike.

Orpheus says, "Surely you were in love once, Hell? In love with the Springtime?"

Hades says, "I'm still in love. With the Mythic Snake."

Orpheus exclaims, "The one whose part I wanted"

Digital.Director says, "What IS all this about a snake? You guys are in the WRONG MYTH. This is not EDEN."

Digital.Director points to Eurydice, "That is not EVE."

Hades looks in his pants at the Mythic Snake.

Orpheus exclaims, "Eurydice was out in a meadow when she was bitten by a snake! Same one as in that copycat story across the Mediterranean, OK?"

Hades says, "They just wanted you to believe that."

Digital.Director says, "Forget the snake, there is no snake."

Orpheus says, "Yeah, thanks to that stupid Digital.Director. She always writes out the good parts."

Digital.Director says, "Snakes only come in dreams."

Orpheus says, "I dreamed all afternoon about that one. And I call up the director and say, "I want to play the snake, OK?"

Digital.Director says, "Snakes are only symbols."

Hades says, "Yeah, no symbols are allowed in hell."

Digital.Director says, "Look around you, we got a three-headed dog, we got black koalas, we got dancing rocks, what's with the snake obsession?"

Orpheus exclaims, "And she says, 'Hey, good news--you get to play that rock star--Orpheus!'"

Digital.Director says, "Snakes don't play."

Orpheus asks, "All I wanted to play was the Prologue and the snake, OK? So she says, 'No, I play the Prologue, remember? *I always* play the Prologue. And by the way, there will be no snake.'"

Digital.Director says, "Right, no snake. And if I hear any more lip, no Prologue either."

Orpheus lets out a long sigh and says, "I need a drink."

Digital.Director says, "You guys are going to get a COW, and see how great a drama you can make with that."

Unless you really want to surround yourself with a boring, uninviting landscape, it is much easier.

Hades [to Orpheus]: "She wants the snake for herself, it's obvious."

Digital.Director says, "No, I don't. I hate snakes. Nasty phallic symbols. Don't want them in our nice classical myth. It's tacky, it's totally Disney, it's been done."

Orpheus says, "Not like in my dreams this afternoon."

Digital.Director says, "We don't need the fucking snake. The snake has another gig. The snake has a first-class ticket to Eden."

Hades says, "Let me tell you a thing or two about our nice classical myth. Orpheus WAS the Mythic Snake in the original myth. Why do you think he ended up with his body all chopped up?"

Digital.Director shakes with indignation.

Digital.Director says, "It wasn't a Mythic Snake originally! It was just a dumb piece of snake-shaped cloth."

Digital.Director says, "It was a PROP, for god's sake. A painted SOCK."

Orpheus exclaims, "It was not! It was the world's first living dildo! It gets the grrls."

Digital.Director says, "Clearly there is a big divergence in the myth here."

Orpheus asks, "What do you think, a snake has *brains*?"

Digital.Director says, "OK, I'll tell you the truth. I asked the Snake to join us for this performance. He refused. Said he was tired of being used as a sex toy."

Hades says, "Likely story."

Digital.Director says, "OK? so no more snakesploitation shows."

Orpheus says, "Mythos legein."

Hades [to Orpheus]: "Like I said, she wants the snake for herself."

Orpheus sulks.

Orpheus says, "Which makes me wonder... where are a snake's ears?"

Orpheus asks, "Can I sing my song now?"

Hades says, "Where is a snake's penis, for that matter?"

Digital.Director says, "Just hold yer horses a minute."

Orpheus searches the Discovery channel for a show on snakes...

Digital.Director morphs into a sleazy club somewhere in Venice...

Scene 1:

Orpheus sings.

Zeus scratches himself.

Orpheus sings, "I am the music."

Eurydike is half-dressed.

Zeus listens attentively...

a sleazy nightclub, signaling that the Prologue is over

Orpheus sings, "The music tells a story."

Orpheus sings, "This is my story."

Zeus says, "Testify sister.."

This is the real thing.

Orpheus sings, "Orpheus loves Eurydike."

without snakes

Zeus eyes his potential new star over.

Orpheus sings, "No one knows the whole of it."

with caffeine

Orpheus sings, "Each one plays a part."

Zeus . o O (No one wants to know)

That's Zeus, CEO of MountOlympus Record Co.

Orpheus sings, "Eurydike is my heart."

Orpheus, singing, doesn't notice Eury parading half-naked in front of him.

Eury puts on her lipstick.

Zeus stares into Orpheus' eyes..

Little rocks cascade down the mountainside.

half her lipstick

Orpheus won't stop singing.

The river leaps for joy.

shut him up

The animals line up and bat their paws.

Pozzo says, "la la laaa.."

Zeus [to Orpheus]: "OK, That was really nice, man."

There's one problem.


bat their paws?

Eurydike tries to kiss Orpheus silent.

Where is she?

Pozzo says, "I think people like the performance... they start hitting me."

the rocks weep with desire at Orpheus' singing.

Pozzo says, "HELP.."

Rocks tumble down for joy.

Zeus [to Orpheus]: "Yo, here's the deal."

no help here

rocks cheer for Orpheus' record contract.

The Rock Chorus echoes Orpheus' song.

they're desperate.

Zeus [to Orpheus]: "I know you want to sing. I know you want to be ROCK Star..."

Eurydike feels frustration at Orpheus' non-stop singing.

The Rock Chorus sings, "Eury Eury Eurydike."

Eury turns to them for a moment of reconfirmation.

Little animals join paws in a circle and sing.

talk about Disney

Zeus says, "Sign up now, with mountOlmpusMusicCo, and we'll make you a *star*..."

Rock chorus smiles at Eury and points to Zeus.

No Disney animals in this show!

Little animals sing, "Eurydike is my heary."


hairy heart

Orpheus says, "Well, I don't know about the star part."

very hairy hearts


Zeus eyes the bulge in Orpheus' pocket... and approves.

Eury starts licking Zeus's ear.

Orpheus says, "Mainly my fans to date have been inanimate objects."

Zeus smacks the bitch away.

Orpheus says, "Hey--give me that microphone."

Zeus gets excited.

Zeus [to Eurydike]: "Uh, no thanks honey."

Orpheus tries to get the mike back.

Orpheus says, "I am the music."

Zeus says, "Then you can sing..."

this is a very low-rent club.

Orpheus says, "Not you, babe."

Eury grabs the mike.

Zeus grabs the mike.

Orpheus lets go.


Eurydike says, "Is this what you want, come and get it..."

Orpheus exclaims, "Eurydike."

Orpheus exclaims, "No."

Zeus rolls his eyes.

Orpheus exclaims, "No."

Eury puts the mike to her mouth, begins to lick it and...

Eury is fired... no fried!


20000 volts and then some

can she be fired too?

Zeus signals his assistant to up the wattage on the mike.

electroclub therapy

Eurydike says, "ouchhh.."

Eurydike says, "aaahhhh.."



Eury sings, "Take me higher.."

ain't in the cards for you, sorry


heh, that fell on my foot.

Is this performance insured?


Scene 2:


Zeus has a photographer take a few shots for the album cover.

-------------->RIGHT OVER HERE

sorry, that was the last scene

We are now in the DownUnderWorld, where Eury has taken a break...

from her life

Hades put on his Digital.Director Lies T-shirt.

20000 volts from an open mike was just a bit too much.

the moans of dead rocks vibrate the walls of hell.

the rocks down here won't sing or dance to Orpheus' music.

vultures tear out livers.

Orpheus has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to cart Orpheus off to bed.

Orpheus is trying to figure out what happened to his lovely wife.

Zeus loves those gruesome album cover shots.

The album will be called Electro-Girl Therapy.

Hades irons Eury's hair.

Eurydike says, "mmmm mmmmm.."

Zeus is gonna make millions on this Orphie guy, if he could just get him to forget his wife.

Eurydike says, "aaahhhh aaaahhh.."

Orpheus digitally reconstructs here.

Hades irons Eury's hairy armpits.

Eurydike says, "orrphhhh orrphhhh.."

hell looks awfully like one of those high-class sanitariums.

new kind of therapy

Orpheus wakes up, dazed.

what did you expect?

Eurydike says, "zeuuuu zeuuuuu.."

not so high-class

Orpheus must have fainted from the shock of seeing his wife fried on stage.

Orpheus says, "I was . . . I was . . . in a meadow. And then..."

Zeus is not here... that was the last scene.

Orpheus says, "...I asked to see my wife."

that was no meadow, that was a club in Venice.

and that was no snake, that was an open mike.

and your wife is DSAED.

Eurydike brushes her imaginary hair.


Hades . o O (You talking to me?)

Orpheus says, "They told me I'd have to go to the DownUnderWorld to get her."


Eurydike says, "Orphhh Orphhh.."

Orpheus says, "Kind of a cross between Australia and Hell."

Hades shoves a sock in Eury's mouth.

Eurydike says, "ma ma. ma ma."

Orpheus has arrived in the DownUnderWorld without even crossing the street.

nice trick

Orpheus whispers, "There she is!

that ain't no sock.

it once played a snake sock.

Orpheus whispers, "I see her with my eyes."

Eurydike shakes her burnt legs.

Orpheus cries, "Eurydike!

Eurydike says, "mmmmm mmmmmm..."

little pebbles scamper round Orpheus' feet, waiting for a song.

Orpheus cries, "Come back."

Hades shields Eurydike from Orpheus.

.......there are no snakes here, but there are a lot of papier mache rocks and black koalas.

Rocks are not afraid of hell.

I just saw a snake.

black koalas?

But little animals are.

Eurydike feels tired.

rocks are not afraid of anything.

well, wake up.

Orpheus [to Hades]: "I came for Eurydike."

Hades begins tap-dancing.

Eurydike feels so tired.

Orpheus [to Hades]: "Give me back my wife."

Eurydike says, "Orphh Orpphhhh.."

After that shock, Eurydike is lucky to feel anything at all.

Hades [to Orpheus]: "What wife?"

Zeus looks down, far down, from his office on mountOlympus.

Orpheus fixes Hades with a glare and raises his voice.

Eurydike says, "The hills are green..."

She is flat-lining.

Orpheus sings.


Hades says, "You mean this pile of burnt hair and bones?"

Eurydike says, "ummm ummmm..."


Orpheus sings, "Eurydike, my only song."


Orpheus sings, "Eurydike, my heart."

Zeus . o O (Maybe if I offer him a joint concert with The Snakes, he'll forget about his wife)

that's a picture of Eury's brain wave.

Eurydike says "The grass is sweet..."

Orpheus sings, "I came to sing my part..."

Eurydike says, "The grass is sweet..."

Eurydike says, Mmake a song with that line."

Orpheus sings, "And win tears from the King of Hell."

Hades [to Orpheus]: "What will you give me for this used-up bitch?"

Eurydike says, "Orphh Orphhh."

Orpheus turns to Persephone, the Queen, a shade of the future.

Hades says, "This flat-lining ex-girl."

Hades says, "And keep your eyes off of her."

Orpheus sings, "O woman who brings spring to earth."

Eurydike says, "The earth smells like worms."


Orpheus sings, "And love to Hell."

Orpheus sings, "Join my song."

Zeus shouts into his cellular, "Get me that picture of that fried girl... I want it for the album cover we're doing for Orpheus."

Orpheus says, "Please."

Hades [to Orpheus]: "Shut-up already, will you shut up if I give you the girl?"

Eurydike says, "Orphh Orphh."

Orpheus says, "Give her back to me."

Eurydike says, "Don't give in to him."

Orpheus turns to Hades.

Orpheus raises his arms.

Hades puts duct tape over Orpheus' mouth.

Orpheus raises his voice.

Hades [to Orpheus]: "This is the deal..."

Zeus leaves a message on Hades' answering machine: whatever you do, don't let that girl outta there alive."

Orpheus sings, "You will have her forever."

nothing can stop Orpheus singing.

Eurydike says, "The sky is so blue today."

Orpheus sings, "But now it's my turn."

Hades . o O (she's already dead)

Hades kicks Orpheus.

Orpheus sings, "Eurydike."

Hades says, "I said shut up."

Zeus . o O (and she better stay that way)

Orpheus sings, "Eurydike."

Hell echoes Orpheus' song.

10 out of 12 scientists agree, there is no way to reverse brain damage from electroshock therapy.

Eurydike feels happy to have the air in her nostrils.

Hades says, "You can have the girl if you give me the MS."

Hell sings, "Eu-ry-ri-ri---

Eurydike says, "Orphh Orphhh."

11 outta 12 scientist disagree, there is no way to reverse death by electroMikeInjury.

Hell sings, "Di-ke-ke-ke."

Hades ties up Orpheus so we can move on.

What manuscript?

The rocks echo Orpheus.

The rocks are Orpheus' friends.

Hades [to Orpheus]: "Give me the fucking Mythic Snake and you can have the girl."

The rocks want to be entertained.

The rocks have always wanted to play backup for Orpheus.

Eury whinnies.

Eurydike kicks her heels in the air.

Eurydike says, "Neigh neigh."

Hell echoes Orpheus' song.

not very ladylike

give him the nonexistent snake.

Hades blushes.

Hades says, "Give me a sock, I don't care."

how quaint

Orpheus says, "The grrl, Hades."

Eurydike bites Orpheus on the shoulder.


Hades says, "I hate girls anyway."

Orpheus backs slowly out of Hell.

Hades sure doesn't expect much out of life.

Orpheus says, "Come on, Eurydike."

Hades sure doesn't expect much out of death.

Hades [to Orpheus]: "But whatever you do..."

Orpheus says, "Follow me."

Eurydike kicks up her heels for the hell of it.

Eurydike says, "Neigh neigh"

Hades says, "DON'T LOOK BACK."

Eurydike whinnies.

Orpheus says, "Come on, grrl."

Orpheus says, "Don't look back."

Eurydike stands on her hind legs.

Hell echoes, "Don't look back."

.........this girl thinks she is a horse?

Orpheus turns and slowly leads the way.

Eurydike bites Orph again on the shoulder. A little love nip. It's been a long time.

Hell holds out some sugar.

a rock throws itself at Eury's legs.

Eurydike says, "Neigh neigh."

Orpheus Orpheus picks his way through the singing rocks.

the moaning rocks

the whining rocks

the Dry Salvages

Hades rips out his ears.

Eurydike butts Orph in the butt.

Orpheus walks slowly up the path to the light.

a little voice says, "Don't look back."

Orpheus exclaims, "Yikes."

Orpheus spins around.

oh no not again

Eurydike bites Orph on the butt. A little love nip.

Orpheus asks, "What'd you do *that* for?"

Hades yells "LOOK BACK."

Eurydike says, "Neigh neigh"

you HAD to look... didn't you?

he looked back.

Orpheus looks at Eurydike in horror.

Orpheus exclaims, "Eurydike."

Eurydike runs off. Free at last.

She fades back into the embrace of Hell.

Eurydike kicks her heels up in joy.

Hades sucks on his sock.

Eury slowly vanishes into the meadows beyond.


Orpheus exclaims, "Aaaaaahhhhhh."



Digital.Director Lies.


Eurydike neighhhhhs (from a distance).

but they don't so get on with it...



curtainless hell just never goes away.


Eurydike eats some flowers by a stream.


You only learn through mistakes.

Scene 3:

Eurydike says, "Neigh neigh"



Orpheus is blanked out on the floor.

How can we have scene 3 if the curtain won't go down on hell?

can we kill Orpheus now?

Orpheus has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to cart Orpheus off to bed.

no wait, we lost Orpheus.

no fair

he's really down and out now.

he lost the girl, he lost his voice, he lost his contract.

and finally QUIET

Orpheus digitally reconstructs here.

we'll have to rip DD apart instead.

the rocks are very disappointed.

Orpheus moans.

he still thinks this story needs a snake, but it's too late for that.

Orpheus says, "Doo wah doo wah."

no snake can redeem us now.

Orpheus says, "She always does this to me."

Maenad#3 says, "Look at those hands."

Orpheus says, "She always makes me play a complete idiot"

maryMaenad says, "Look at that butt."

Maenad#3 says, "Playing on his instrument."

Orpheus weeps.

you may have noticed The Maenads, hot girl trio.

maryMaenad says, "Ohh, I'd love to have a piece of that."

except that there are four of them.

Orpheus says, "I could rip them all to pieces."

maryMaenad . o O (I need to have a piece of that)

and they need SONGS.

Orpheus exclaims, "Grrls."

Maenad#3 says, "Those tapered fingers."

maryMaenad . o O (I WILL HAVE a piece of that)

Maenad#3 says, "I'd like to have them play on my instrument."

Orpheus says, "I got no more songs for grrls."

Hey, girls, you want the music, not the guy, right?

Maenad#3 says, "Songs we don't need."

Orpheus says, "And get off my butt."

maryMaenad [to Orpheus]: "Toucha toucha toucha touch me..."

Maenad#3 says, "Those hands."

Orpheus exclaims, "Give me that lyre back."

Orpheus exclaims, "You should see what happened to the last grrl who grabbed my equipment."

maryMaenad [to Orpheus]: "You must sing along with us."

confusedMaenad says, "What time is this performance over?"

Orpheus says, "I'm not singing squat."


maryMaenad [to Orpheus]: "You just must sing about us."

plenty of time for a denouement

Maenad#3 says, "I want those hands to play me."

maryMaenad licks her lips.

Orpheus says, "I sang for that other grrl, damn it."

youngMaenad licks her lips.

Orpheus says, "I sang the hell out of that grrl."

he looks good enough to eat.

maryMaenad slaps Orpheus upside the head.

Orpheus says, "And look what I got for it."

Maenad#3 says, "Regrets. She's gone. We're here."

Orpheus says, "Sing for yourself, Maenads."

Maenad#3 says, "We're the present tense."

deafMaenad signs, "Can I go back to Hell?"

maryMaenad [to Orpheus]: "Look sing... NOW"

Orpheus rips up the score.

bad move, Orph

Orpheus exclaims, "Take that, you Grrl Group."

Maenad#3 says, "Come on. Let me have a little bit of that finger."

Maenad#3 says, "yummmm."

don't forget the mythic snake.

maryMaenad's loins tighten expectantly.

Maenad#3 says, "A little bit of that left ear."

They tear into Orpheus

what is a Maenad anyway?

Maenad#3 says, "Delish.."

they're messy eaters.

Orpheus exclaims, "Give me back my finger, damn it."

maryMaenad says, "Oh baby, I do need some of you."

maryMaenad says, "Just a little piece."

Orpheus exclaims, "And my finger too."

Maenad#3 says, "The best part. Shall we share it amongst us?"

maryMaenad says, "To have and to hold."

Maenad#3 says, "Fair is fair."

youngMaenad says, "Let's get it over with. Then he'll stop singing."

Orpheus rips the score to shreds.

maryMaenad says, "I will not be denied."

Orpheus exclaims, "You can't have my songs, you ghouls."

Maenad#3 says, "Start with the thighs. Work your way up."

maryMaenad says, "And now we want MORE."

Orpheus exclaims, "I'll rip the music to pieces."

so Maenads are ghouls?


then what?

Nothing is left but the head.

just bitches in heat

Little pieces of Orpheus strew the landscape.

Maenad#3 says, "The snake. Yummm."

The river leaps up and grabs Orpheus' head!

Orpheus stew

It's an ugly sight, if you care to look closely.

a horse neighs in the background.

maryMaenad cleans a little piece o' Orphie from her teeth.

quiet descends for a moment.

maryMaenad reapplies her lipstick.

The rocks leap up and pelt the Maenads!

Orpheus exclaims, "Back, you crazy grrls."

maryMaenad slaps the rocks away.

a humming sound comes from the pieces of Orpheus.... the fingers... the toes...

Maenad#3 sends one of Orpheus' teeth to the forensic lab for a full report.

Rocks rain .

a toe hums, "I am the music."

maryMaenad commands her Orpheus piece to sing.

Orpheus drifts downstream, singing, "I hate grrls"

the finger obeys maryMaenad.


a horse neighs in the background.

I am the music.


you meant socks right?

I got the music in me.

the rocks sing for Orpheus, whom they hardly knew.

Maenad#3 says, "She was only a horse."

Socks filled with rocks match themselves up and sing.

Maenad#3 says, "He died for a horse."

a finger hums, "I was the body electric."

The rock socks hum together for joy.

They shoot horses don't they?

a finger hums, "I love Eurydike, the body electric."

I thought they were lamenting?

Little animals stamp their feet and sing.

the rock socks dream of getting gigs as mythic snakes.

Maenad#3 says, "hmmm hmmm."

a rock mourns in marble tears.

There is no love that love lost.

The rock socks do-see-do the little animals and sing, "Orpheus! Orpheus!"

Eurydike says, "Orph Orph."

a knee hums, "It's all over for love."

Eurydike says, "Neigh neigh."

Love is the answer.

Eurydike sings, "Orpheus."

Though I forgot the question.

A Maenad rips the lyre to shreds and throws the parts in the air, screaming, "Orpheus."


Eurydike says, "Whoa whoa."

Sold down the river for a song.

Pebbles spell out his name.

maryMaenad cleans her fingernails of Orpheus pieces.

Sold down to hell.


Maenad#3 kisses maryMaenad.

the Maenads get the last word... or do they?

and so does a SNAKE

Apollo announces, "That's enough from you rocks."

Apollo, golden Apollo of the space program.

don't go there

The rocks pay him no mind.

Apollo shouts, "Orpheus was my singer."

what does Apollo want here?

maryMaenad says, "I am the music."

Apollo sings, "That what you saw was Great Art."

The rocks shout, "Orpheus was OUR singer."

what does Apollo always want?

Maenad#3 sings, "shooby do a, shooby do a..."


maryMaenad shouts, "Orpheus was MY singer..."

Apollo says, "I know Great Art when I see it."

maryMaenad says, "...and I have the piece to prove it."


Apollo says, "Orpheus will live forever."


you need eye surgery.

Maenad#3 sings, "shooby doo a shooby doo a..."


Rocks never forget.

Apollo says, "For ages to come, little rocks will sing his name."

rocks never lie.

----------FINAL CURTAIN---------

____ END ____